As we age, changes in physical health can affect our outlook on life and our ability to cope with problems. In fact, good mental health is known to decrease loneliness and maintain optimism in seniors. Below are three critical factors in the fight to preserve mental health for seniors.
Stay Mentally Active
It’s easy to fall into a comfortable routine at any age, but engaging in activities that stimulate the mind can help to protect mental well-being. According to Kindred Healthcare, one of the best ways to remain mentally alert is to learn new skills. By making lifelong learning a priority, you’ll continue to challenge your mind and enjoy the thrill of new experiences. Hobbies such as gardening or dancing exercise both the mind and the body and can help to maintain both physical and mental health. For those with limited mobility, activities such as studying genealogy or even playing video games can still bring about feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Watch out for Physical Health
Health problems tend to increase as we age. According to RCPT, hospital visits can be very draining for many seniors. Repeated injuries may also cause anxiety, depression and other mental health problems that decrease the quality of life and make you feel worse about yourself. In addition, losing mobility can be a significant factor in declining mental health. Finding ways to preserve as much physical ability as possible is key to preserving a sense of mastery and independence. Exercise, even if it’s mild to moderate, can help improve flexibility, strength and balance. In turn, these improvements can help boost your sense of confidence and well-being.
Maintain a Social Life
According to Walker Methodist, social interaction helps to decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation that can lead to mental health problems in later years. Thanks to social media, staying in touch with family and friends is much easier than it once was. In addition to keeping up with old friends, it’s important to meet new people if you can. It may be hard at first to reach out, but the benefit of social interaction will be well worth the effort. Getting involved with a gathering of like-minded people, such as a volunteer group or faith community, is a good way to develop new friendships.
Maintaining or improving mental health is important at every stage of life. By building habits that prevent isolation and boredom, you can work to preserve or improve your mental well-being in your senior years. If you are experiencing these feelings and would like to get in action, make that first step and contact us! We have free groups, volunteer opportunities and more! We are here.
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